Doodles by Quentin Horn

WORDS Celeste Jacobs

From absent-minded doodles to a unique style of layered digital prints, graphic designer Quentin Horn is making the most of his talents.

What began as a creative outlet for graphic designer Quentin Horn – “something other than logos and corporate identities” – has seen him turn his doodles into art.

How did you develop your style?

I was about to recycle a notebook when I noticed my doodles – pages full that I had unconsciously drawn while speaking to someone on the phone, trying to work out the best colour combination for a corporate identity or wondering what to have for dinner. On a whim I scanned all 200 pages and painstakingly “cut” them out in Photoshop to create my first “brush” library. I started to use these ‘brushes’ to create a bigger picture, so to speak, and it just snowballed from there.

Do you have a favourite medium?

I don’t like pens much; I only use them to fill in forms. Give me an 0,5 mm 2B clutch pencil and I’m happy – the softness of the lead on paper is very satisfying. Photoshop is my studio. I did a piece for Heritage Day last year titled I am Layers, which had 1 410 layers.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am busy creating pieces for what will be my first solo exhibition. The idea started with outings to the park with my son, Felix. We are magpies and our collection of found objects includes many ceramic fragments. I have been looking online to see if I can match pieces to Delft designs, and this has caused me to pay more attention to their subject matter: mostly Dutch landscapes, scenery and portraits. Which got me thinking… Imagine if the first Dutch settlers were able to take photos and email them home to be painted on ceramics in order to share the newly discovered plants, animals and people from the southern tip of Africa. Reading Jan van Riebeeck’s diary and the recorded explorations of Robert Gordon has given me some insight, and I have completed four pieces, with more in the making. I juggle this with commissions to pay the bills.

What’s next for you?

I would love to collaborate with other designers and artists, and see my art applied in fashion and textiles. Other than that, I will continue to add new South African-themed prints to my range.

See more of Quentin’s work at